What Causes Boil?

What exactly causes a boil? A boil is a skin infection. It causes a red raised painful sore filled with pus. Read on to find out the causes and treatment.

What exactly is a boil? Even though you may not know exactly, if you have ever had one, you know that they are very painful. A boil is basically a skin infection, usually caused by staphylococcal bacteria. The symptoms of a boil are: a large, red, tender lump or swelling under the skin. It is usually very painful, especially to touch. It most always has a head, which means, at the top you can see a white or yellowish dot or liquid, which is pus. The cause of getting a staphyloccal skin infection is not known.

A boil can grow quickly. As the pus gathers and forms the head, then it will usually burst, which greatly relieves the pain and pressure, (sort of like how a volcano's pressure builds then erupts, but not nearly so forceful!) After it bursts, it will start to heal. Boils are most often located on the buttocks, the face, the legs, the breasts, and the neck. Sometimes a boil gets so infected that you have to seek medical treatment. The doctor may have to lance it, which relieves the pressure and allows the pus to come out. He may also prescribe antibiotic cream or oral antibiotics.

If you start to run a fever or if the boil is severely painful and full of pus, see your doctor. Home treatment includes application of hot, (to tolerance, don't burn yourself) moist compresses several times a day. This will fascilitate supporation (forming of the head), and eruption, to speed healing, as well as alleviate pain more quickly. Never try to squeeze a boil or use a pin of some sort to pop it. This will only cause more pain and greatly increase your chances of it becoming more infected.

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